Books · Witterings

June Roundup

Flaming June by Lord Frederic Leighton

6 months done of 2011 and more books read! (I could also mention that we have had the longest day and the nights are drawing in and it will soon be Christmas, but then that would be just plain cruel!)

So where did June take me reading wise, looking back all over the place. I started the month with a cosy crime and something craft related,(posts on that coming soon) with Maggie Sefton with Knit One, Kill One. A real do not stretch your brain read. I have more and when I want to indulge in some reading chocolate, then I think this will satisfy the need.

I seem to have been based in World War Two for June, not sure why and it was not a deliberate choice. The occupation of the Channel Isles in The Collaborator by Margaret Leroy. To Bethnal Green and the tragedy there in The Report by Jessica Francis Kane which I know is my favourite book of the month and will be up there as one of the favourite for the year. I skipped across the Atlantic to The Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford and saw another aspect, another point of view from the World War Two, the Chinese and the Japanese and the Americans. I have learnt quite a lot from these books this month.

Kate Atkinson’s One Good Turn was the last book in the Jackson Brodie series that I had yet to read, and because having read Case Histories last month in preparation for the television programme (which was very good) I needed to catch up and read this one before it was broadcast. I just made it. However, as the book was fresh in my mind I think I perhaps came to the programme with certain expectations but also could see why some aspect would not work on the television and it goes to say that you cannot beat the book. As an aside the third book When Will There Be Good News? I read a couple of years ago and when I watched the adaptation the book was not so fresh in my mind, but the programme certainly brought elements of it back. If pushed though I was not able to see the differences as much as the first two. Time does funny things to the memory.

I sometimes resist the hype of a book, I might buy it but I invariably take a lot longer to get round to reading it. This was the case with One Day by David Nicholls. Now having read it, why did I wait so long? I can even remember one of the staff of Waterstones’ recommending it to me and I said “nah, not keen”. Oh what a fool!

Old Portsmouth

As Portsmouth is my home city, I had to read Penelope goes to Portsmouth as part of M.C. Beaton’s travelling matchmaker series. I now have to seek out the final three of these relatively short little tales. Lovely!

I am not a fan of ‘reality’ tv, in the sense of X Factor, BGT, Big Brother although a Strictly fan through and through. But I do like shows about real people doing real jobs. I also like books covering the same aim. I have liked in the past the “Babylon” series of books. In this case I turned to The Checkout Girl by Tazeen Ahmad, about her 6 months as pure research on the frontline of a till at Sainsbury’s. (Other supermarkets are available). I think next time I am in the checkout queue I might be a bit more circumspect!

Tales of St Austin’s by P G Wodehouse was read for two main reasons: 1 – I wanted to try some other Wodehouse other than Jeeves and Wooster. 2 – This was based about school. Another one of my favourite themes in a book. This book I realise, was over 100 years old and to be honest not one of Wodehouse’s best but it gives you a bit of a flavour and I am pleased I read it so I am a bit more widely read on his novels. Though I am quite desperate to dive back into some Jeeves and Wooster real soon.

I needed some chick-lit amongst all this history I had partaken in this month. So I picked up Veronica Henry’s Wild Oats. A charity shop find for me a few weeks back. Secretly I am glad about that, I enjoyed it, it served its purpose as pure chick-lot but I am glad I did not pay full price for the book. It was a read it and forget if sort of book. I will look out some of her other work though, next time I browse the charity shelves.

So not a bad month considering. 10 books. I have had a lot of lovely Saturdays where I can just read, sleep and read some more! No real aim, but achieved quite a bit. And as June closes I am indulging in a rather new venture for me, short stories but sticking to a faithful author I am with Agatha Christie and Miss Marple’s short stories. Just what I need, I feel.

As for July, well I am going to stick my neck out and set myself a challenge for the month – to read Jamaica Inn by Daphne du Maurier. Not a major challenge compared to some bloggers, but for someone like me who tends not to set myself targets in my reading, it is something for me! Not sure when the review of the book will appear in July but lets hope it does!

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4 thoughts on “June Roundup

  1. I just found your blog in the literary blog directory. Thanks for the review of The Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet. It’s been on my TBR pile for awhile and I may have to bump it up. Great photo to go with your review.

  2. I like books about schools too. And it feels like there should be loads but in fact there are not as many as you might think. Gentlemen and Players by Joanne Harris is one of my favourites. And Moab is My Washpot, Stephen Fry’s first autobiography, has a lot about his school days and provides a real flavour of life in a public school in the 60s and 70s. Brilliant. I’ll make a note of Tales of St. Austins.

    I read Jamaica Inn when I was a teen and have never reread it – I really should. At the time I remember loving it.

    Sounds like you had an excellent reading month!

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